Abandoned Good and Vehicles and Parts Policy

Purpose
Legal Framework
Storage of abandoned goods and vehicles
Eviction / Repossession
Deceased Estates
Disposal of uncollected goods
Proceeds from sale of uncollected goods
Tenant not in occupation or in long term detention
Items left on Housing ACT leased land and in common areas at a flat complex
Release of stored goods and vehicles/parts
Goods and vehicles on unleased (public) land

Purpose

This policy describes the requirements for dealing with goods, motor vehicles and parts abandoned on its premises.

Housing ACT is bound by the provisions of the Uncollected Goods Act 1996 when handling abandoned goods and the Motor Traffic Act 1936, in respect of abandoned vehicles and parts.

However, where items are left/stored in an open carport, common area or the grounds of a flat complex, and the owner is identified as a current, legitimate resident of the complex, the matter will be dealt with initially under the provisions of the Tenancy Agreement and the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and Schedule of Prescribed Terms.

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Storage of abandoned goods and vehicles

Reasonable steps will be taken to contact the owner and request the removal of the items and to inform him/her of Housing ACT’s policy in dealing with the abandoned items, including the costs to be recovered by Housing ACT. The owner of abandoned goods and/or vehicles will be given an opportunity to remove them within seven (7) days of notice to do so. If items are not collected within the nominated period, Housing ACT will store all uncollected goods including vehicles valued over $500 for a minimum of three (3) months. Uncollected vehicles valued at less than $500 will be stored for one (1) month. Perishable goods and hazardous substances will be disposed of immediately and not stored.

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Eviction and Repossession

When a tenant is evicted or abandoned premises are reclaimed by Housing ACT, the owner of abandoned goods and/or vehicles will be given an opportunity to remove them within seven (7) days of notice to do so. If the owner cannot be contacted or does not agree to remove the items within seven (7) days, they will be removed to storage by Housing ACT.

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Deceased Estates

Following the death of a tenant who lives alone, Housing ACT will attempt to contact the next-of-kin and/or executor of the estate to arrange removal of goods and/or vehicles from the premises. If after five (5) working days these attempts are unsuccessful, Housing ACT may contact the Public Trustee for assistance in resolving the matter.

A request will be made for the removal of the items within seven (7) days. Housing ACTwill continue charging rent to the estate until the property is cleared of the goods.

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Disposal of uncollected goods

Uncollected goods and vehicles may be disposed of:

  • on expiration of the storage period
  • on receipt of written authority from the owner.

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Proceeds from sale of uncollected goods

Proceeds from the sale of uncollected goods will be applied against any debts the tenant may have with Housing ACT, including any unpaid rent, removal, storage and disposal costs. The balance, if any, will be forwarded to the tenant. Where the tenant cannot be contacted, the balance is payable to the Territory trust bank account, in accordance with the provisions of the Uncollected Goods Act 1996.

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Tenant not in occupation or in long term detention

Housing ACT may not hold a property for a tenant who is absent for a period longer than three (3) months. Abandoned goods and vehicles that are not removed by the owner within seven (7) days of notice to do so will be treated as uncollected goods and vehicles and subject to this policy. Appropriate legal action will be taken to obtain vacant possession of the property.

Refer to the Abandoned Property PolicyTop

Items left on Housing ACT leased land and in common areas at a flat complex

A tenant who leaves or stores goods and/or vehicles on Housing ACT leased land or in common areas at a flat complex is in breach of his/her tenancy agreement.

Items left in a position where they are blocking access, or causing a health or safety hazard, will be moved to an area where they do not cause such a problem.

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Release of stored goods and vehicles or parts

Housing ACT will release items from storage to the owner once the owner has paid all associated costs.

Refer to the Abandoned Property Policy Top

Goods and vehicles on unleased (public) land

Goods and vehicles abandoned on public land are not the responsibility of Housing ACT.

Further Information

For copies of factsheets contact Housing ACT.

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